“Treason,” as a miniseries, is a great attempt to incorporate the espionage vibe that is expected of a spy thriller. While some may find the show to be a labyrinth with way too much “intel” to process, others will love the sheer tempo at which the plot progresses, almost to the point of missing out on any crucial piece of info. Moreover, having Charlie Cox play the role of an agent is the perfect Christmas gift. So, cheers to “Treason”! The show has a myriad of characters, each of whom plays a crucial role that contributes to the plot. In this article, we will talk about them and analyze their characters to get to know them better.
MI6 agent Adam Lawrence is the deputy to the MI6 Chief Angelis Martin. Fifteen years ago, while stationed in Baku, Azerbaijan, Adam prevented an attack on the British embassy. He has come a long way since then, a trail of intelligence wins taking him up the chain of ranks and finally making him the deputy. However, when Angelis is poisoned and barely escapes death, and Adam becomes the new Chief, Adam’s success is compromised, with the CIA claiming that his whole career is based on questionable intelligence. Furthermore, his ex-lover also makes her return and adds to the complexities, which end up putting not only his but his family’s lives in danger.
Charlie Cox adds a certain vulnerability to his character, Adam Lawrence, that isn’t common in agents that we have come across in other films. He isn’t jumping off buildings, he doesn’t have the suave that we have come to expect from such agents, and he isn’t someone who likes to live on the edge and is renowned for it. Adam is a family man who, up until the events in “Treason,” believed that he has been just in his career, but when his ex-lover Kara Yusova (former SVR, Foreign Intelligence Service, Russia) returns to reveal how it was her who helped him in almost every mission in the last 15 years, he is thrown into a web of guilt. What adds to this is the fact that Angelis had evidence that would prove that he was a double agent serving Russia. Also, the CIA suspected his rising success as a threat to Western Security. It is surprising and devastating to be on the receiving end of all this without even being knowingly responsible for it. The only wrong he committed was against Kara by leaving her in Baku. Now, whether he deserves all this for that is upto us to justify to ourselves. Adam did what he could to put an end to his troubles and ensure that his family was safe. Unfortunately, he paid the price with his life. “Treason,” by killing its protagonist, proves the raw reality of secrets and the toll they can take on the life of someone whose only flaw is his or her very livelihood. In this way, the show has probably added a new layer of interpretation that we, as viewers, will be subjected to the next time we watch a spy film or show.
Kara Yusova is an ex-SVR and Adam’s ex-lover. She orchestrated Adam’s success at MI6 only so that she could find out who killed her agents in Baku. She has also worked as the personal protection officer for Anton Melnikov, who is funding the election campaign of Robert Kirby for the British PM. Her motivation is justified by the fact that perhaps her means weren’t—or rather, the means weren’t meant to bring about a positive outcome. She did find the truth. However it cost the life of the person who helped her find the truth despite having all the reasons not to. Herein lies her guilt.
We all know Olga Kurylenko from Hitman and especially “James Bond: Quantum of Solace.” If you remember her from Marvel’s Black Widow, you don’t know her. The gravity that she is able to pull off is proof of her talent as an actor. The same happens in “Treason.” Here, she manages to show her rough side as well as her vulnerable side. On the one hand, she has to be her spy self and manage all the issues coming her way without losing her temper; on the other hand, she has to offer the feminine side of herself to maintain the dynamic between her and Adam.
She waited 15 years to find out the truth about her agents. The fact that she poisoned Martin Angelis proves just how determined she was to find out the truth. However, it is also true that she didn’t want to hurt Adam in any way. When Adam refused to help her the first time, she could have threatened to expose him, but she didn’t. She waited because, somewhere deep down, she probably knew or hoped that Adam would help her. And she was right. This is what seems to have strengthened her trust in Adam, which in turn made her keep an eye out for him and his family at all times. She knew that Adam had nothing to do with the five men who were killed in Baku. Unfortunately, she couldn’t prevent something that was out of her hands, and she ultimately had to lose Adam. However, her salvation came in the form of a hug from Maddy, Adam’s wife. She trusted Kara, and Kara, in turn, loved her and the children through Adam.
Maddy De Costa
Maddy De Costa, played by Oona Chaplin, left the army seven years ago. She is now Adam’s wife and the stepmother of Ella and Callum. Maddy reached out to her friend Dede about Adam but later found out that it was Dede who was using her to get to Adam and then to Kara. However, it is her decision to find out about her husband that brings her to Dede in the first place. Adam would have been alive had Maddy not contacted Dede and told her about the mysterious woman she had seen him with. The fact that she loves Adam, Ella, and Callum more than anyone else and defends her love for them becomes evident when Dede tries to make her understand that they aren’t her blood. Her basis for doubting Adam is justified, and it is clear that whatever she did to find out about Kara was out of her love for Adam. She believed what Adam told her about Kara and decided to give her a chance. Sure enough, it wasn’t Kara who compromised Adam, but herself, and this is something that she will have to live with, for the rest of her life. It was her best friend who killed Adam. “Treason” ends with Maddy promising Dede to destroy her career. Is this a potential sign of Season 2? We hope so.
A heartless, insensitive, and self-centric agent, Dede Alexander (Tracy Ifeachor), works for the CIA and is now tasked with finding out about Adam Lawrence and his source. She is ready to use her best friend’s trust to achieve her objective. Throughout the show, not once do we see her show an ounce of empathy for Maddy, and it only proves that she was never Maddy’s friend. As much as it seems that she is trying to protect Maddy, she is just using her as an asset to achieve her personal aims. As unusual as it seems, seven years is a long time for people to lose ties and let their friendship fade away. Clearly, Dede and Maddy were far away from each other, and their only contact was through the phone or a trip a year at most. On the other hand, Dede’s experience as a CIA agent must have lasted for at least five years, which makes her more beholden to her job than her friendship. So whatever she did was as much a result of her field experience as it was of her fading friendship with Maddy.
Martin Angelis (Ciaran Hinds) is a true MI6 chief. He doesn’t trust anyone and thus keeps a cache of files carrying compromising information on all the people of significance in his organization and the British government. This is so that if anyone crosses the line, Angelis has what he needs to remind them how they can be compromised forever. That’s where his power lies. He intends to use the evidence of a Russian plot to help Robert Kirby win the PM elections and strengthen his hold on the MI6 position. He also has a file on Adam that proves that he is the double agent who led the attack on the British embassy in Baku. While his motive to strengthen his MI6 position is morally wrong, his file on Adam is based on false evidence, as it isn’t Adam who is the double agent (codename: Dorian). It is someone else, someone very close to Adam, his friend for 20 years, Patrick.
Another shrewd Russian, he funded Robert Kirby’s election campaign only to gain entry to his motherland by offering Kirby to the Kremlin as a prime source of intelligence. We do not know how Kirby allowed him to find his campaign without running a thorough check on him, or maybe he deliberately overlooked it because winning the elections was more important to him than anything else, as it always is. It is imperative for him to have Kirby win the election, as it is his ticket back to being reinstated at the Kremlin. We do not know why he was deemed “persona non grata” (PNG) by the Kremlin, but he will have to prove his worth if he needs a way back in. And to have the British PM as his means would be better than anything else. That is why he contacted Kara to find the compromising info on Kirby’s opponent Audrey Gratz so that it could be used to force her to pull out of the race. He is killed by an MI6 agent under Angelis’s orders.
“Treason” is a fast-paced 2022 spy thriller created by Matt Sharman.
See more: ‘Treason’ Episode 1: Recap & Ending, Explained – Who Is Kara? What Happened To Ella?